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Richards, A. J. – Physics Teacher, 2019
As students learn physics, they are often required to reason about the behavior of macroscopic and microscopic phenomena, and to synthesize prior knowledge from several different areas of physics to construct understanding of new ideas. This can be a tremendously difficult cognitive task for novice students, especially when the unfamiliar…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Visualization
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Young, Kaisa E.; Young, Chadwick H. – Physics Teacher, 2019
Two of the most fundamental skills that students acquire in introductory undergraduate physics laboratory courses are how to accurately plot data and interpret the physical meaning of linear graphs. We redesigned our graphing skills lab with an open-ended approach designed to promote inquiry in graphical analysis and to address specific areas of…
Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, College Science, Physics, Undergraduate Students
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Kilmer, Nelson; Krehbiel, Joel D. – Physics Teacher, 2019
Gay-Lussac's law states that the pressure of an ideal gas is directly proportional to its absolute temperature if the volume is constant. Students observe this relationship by taking measurements on the pressure of gas in a flask or metal sphere at different temperatures and then extrapolate the data to estimate absolute zero. In our college…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Science Experiments, Teaching Methods
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Day, Michael A. – Physics Teacher, 2019
As physics teachers, we possess many items (e.g., demonstrations, online exercises, and even stories) in our pedagogical toolkits. In this paper, I propose and explore one such item that I have found particularly useful and pedagogically significant--the "integrated vocabulary boost." In what follows, I will address what I mean by such…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Vocabulary Development
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Denny, Mark – Physics Teacher, 2019
An atlatl or spearthrower is perhaps humanity's oldest technology for accelerating projectiles. The dynamics prior to launch of the dart projectile have been much discussed in the literature. In this article we present a simple new model of launch dynamics and show that dart flex is not an important factor in determining launch speed, but it…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Accuracy
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Pavesi, Laura – Physics Teacher, 2019
The phenomenon of emerging water jets from the holes of containers has been extensively studied; nevertheless, it continues to inspire researchers and teachers. The main aspects of the recent studies concern: the range of the jets trajectories; the extension of Bernoulli's equation, of which Torricelli's expression represents an ideal situation,…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Water
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Staacks, Sebastian; Hütz, Simon; Heinke, Heidrun; Stampfer, Christoph – Physics Teacher, 2019
We propose an easy experiment that allows students to determine the speed of sound through a simple time-of-flight measurement using two smartphones. The concept of using the sensors in mobile phones for physics experiments has become a well-known option for science teachers. Since these devices are readily available to most students and teachers,…
Descriptors: Measurement, Acoustics, Audio Equipment, Telecommunications
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Coletta, Vincent P.; Bernardin, Josh; Pascoe, Daniel; Hoemke, Anatol – Physics Teacher, 2019
Physics instructors recognize the value of kinesthetic experience in learning fundamental physics concepts. We describe a kinesthetic experiment appropriate for both college and high school physics students. The experiment helps students achieve an intuitive understanding of Newton's second law in a way they find quite enjoyable. It was devised by…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Teaching Methods
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Behroozi, F. – Physics Teacher, 2019
Many of the old demonstrations in electricity and magnetism can be performed more effectively and with greater visual appeal by using newly available neodymium magnets and color LEDs. For this reason several demonstrations, commonly used for teaching electromagnetic induction and Lenz's law, have received renewed attention in recent years. In…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Introductory Courses, Magnets
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Haugland, Ole Anton – Physics Teacher, 2019
Students should have a strong conceptual understanding of the connection between force and acceleration before they start working with applications and problem solving. This has been discussed in the literature. During these days of flipped classroom instruction, an at-home activity could be especially valuable. I will describe an experiment with…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Scientific Principles, Teaching Methods
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Brecher, Kenneth; Cross, Rod – Physics Teacher, 2019
The PhiTOP® (or FTOP®) is a physics toy designed not only to act as a spinning top but also to appeal to the eye and to the scientifically curious mind.1 It is currently made in two versions, one from solid aluminum and the other solid brass. Each top is highly polished, and is elliptical in one cross section and circular in another. Its name…
Descriptors: Physics, Toys, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Allen, Thomas; Chally, Alex; Moser, Bradley; Widenhorn, Ralf – Physics Teacher, 2019
The labs presented here build on a simple speed of sound activity and models medical ultrasound imaging by demonstrating how multiple reflections propagate in a closed system. A short sound pulse is emitted into a pipe that is closed at one end and contains one or more partially reflecting surfaces within the pipe. The variety of reflections and…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Acoustics, Diagnostic Tests
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Taniguchi, Darcy A. A.; Taniguchi, James; Ridgway, Sam; Schulz, Kathryn – Physics Teacher, 2019
The lesson presented here provides a multifaceted inquiry-based opportunity to develop a deep grasp of Archimedes' principle. It was originally developed for high school teachers as part of their training in the basic structure of the Next Generation Science Standards. There are numerous demonstrations illustrating Archimedes' principle, many of…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Inquiry, Scientific Principles, High Schools
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Rubin, Scott – Physics Teacher, 2019
The stereotypical situation of a snowball picking up both mass and speed as it rolls without slipping down a hill provides an opportunity to explore the general form of both translational and rotational versions of Newton's second law through multivariable differential equations. With a few reasonable assumptions, it can be shown that the snowball…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Motion, Scientific Concepts
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Manrique, Irany Vera; Gutiérrez, Gabriela Rivadeneyra; González, David Alejandro Martínez – Physics Teacher, 2019
This article describes an experiment that can be done in the classroom in a simple way, with the support of a "homemade" device or as a laboratory practice with the support of PASCO equipment. Through a theory-practice sequence, kinematic and dynamic equations were checked with qualitative and quantitative analysis, emphasizing the…
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Computer Software, Physics, Science Instruction
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